Not a long update tonight, but I did want to check in with you. I’ll give you an exhaustive recap of what happened in between November and Now.
1. WAH! Packing is a younger person’s game. But I got packed, and sent some stuff to storage and some stuff to The Ranch (which will be my permanent place for the foreseeable future), and nobody committed any felonies in the process. In related news, my Mama is truly the best human, ever. Hands down.
2. Thanksgiving happened. We had two turkeys for the crowd, and some stunning gravy, if I do say so myself. And I do.
3. ZOMG, winter stuff is expensive. I have a few hats, several scarves and two pairs of mittens. And I now have two winter coats. One is a brilliant red lambswool, and the other is a plain black, “sleeping bag”, coat as Mama calls it. I think that’s all I’m going to need. I hope that is all I’m going to need because the winter gear? It’s crowding out the other stuff in my luggage.
4. I have a passport and a visa. There was drama, there was laughter, there were tears. Basically a summation of human existence in two short (read: inexhaustibly long) governmental transactions.
6. I have a ticket! And I didn’t have to sell a body part to get it! I leave on Friday, January 17. Otherwise known as, “Less than two weeks away”.
7. Christmas happened. Santa brought me an iPad Air. And speakers to go with it. Santa was generous and dug deep considering he had already bought me a winter wardrobe.
8. Holy cow, boots are expensive. But I have four pairs now (including some Wellies that I may or may not gaze at every day and clap with excitement because I NEED WELLIES! It never rains enough here to need them. These are stunning, in a lilly blue color, and I’ll photograph them in situ the first day it gets warm enough to wear them.).
9. I have been feverishly researching moisturizer. Input desperately requested. I wound up with the L’Occitane Ancienne and their basic night cream. And the Fresh Siberian Buckthorn oil. Other suggestions? I also picked up the Fresh Umbrian clay bar-because it is apparently very soothing.
10. I mean, really, how cold can it be there, really? This isn’t going to be so bad, right????
11. Then the thing at the train station happened. I have thoughts. Sometime when I’m not dying of the Plague, I’ll share.
12. The Boys and I have snuggled. A lot.
13. We ran OUT of natural gas here at the Ranch. Which was GREAT fun when trying to cook, shower, and stay warm. Thankfully, our tank has been refilled, and the dude knows to check it more frequently since apparently we use more natural gas than anybody else, ever.
14. I had my first moment of self-doubt about the decision I made. I honestly think this is okay, because if I hadn’t had that, I would be concerned I hadn’t properly thought through and internalized this insanity.
15. To rectify and feel a bit of control, I sat down with a map of Moscow, in Cyrillic, and made myself find the metro stop for the school, and then the street that the school is on. All by myself with no cheating. And it wasn’t in the part of the city I would have thought it was. So I found it. If push comes to shove, I now know I can get to somewhere that people know me. And then, when I started freaking out (look, I’m gonna own my neuroses here, people…and it’s not like the news that I am in any way neurotic and twitchy can possibly shock or surprise any of you) about “What if I can’t find the grocery store?”, I took a breath. There are baked potato carts on literally every street corner in the city. And the corners that don’t have potatoes, they have blini stands. So I’ve got cheap, easy access to carbs. And, in the worst case scenario, I made myself find the metro station where I lived last time. It’s a single entrance/exit metro station (there are some that aren’t, and it is HILARIOUS when I leave via the wrong door of one of those…) and there is a grocery store within the line of sight at the entrance. So I have ready access to basic food supplies there. There are better stores within the city, but this has basic food and nourishment, if I utterly could not find any other food stores.
16. If there is anything that I am good at, it is shopping, procuring, and eating. I’ve persevered and been able to shop under some pretty adverse circumstances that would make mere mortal shoppers crumble. But it’s nice to have a backup strategy since I really do speak not much of the language and the alphabet is really quite foreign to me. It’s not like I can even really guess at it by looking for homophones. I still instinctively “see” the Western alphabet sounds when I see “B”, or “H”, for example.
17. Please do not think that my having a contingency plan, that I am questioning my choice or that I expect to ever have to use it. I have always felt quite safe in Moscow, and I know people there, and I’m actually picking up on their alphabet quite nicely, even from here. But I will be REALLY far away from my family, and if something Terrible happened, the travel rules mean that it would be a few days before anybody could get to me if I needed them, so a plan is only prudent.
And now, you’re caught up. 🙂
More later. Moisturizer suggestions, please!